Tag Archives: business

The time is now

Recently I saw a new television show on HBO called “The Shop,” which is about a barber shop in the African American community that Lebron James hosts, and has interesting conversations with other African American celebrities. In African American communities, the barber shop is where people go to have discussions about politics, the economy, family dynamics, who makes the best macaroni and cheese and more. It’s a little known fact in that community that when you walk into “The Shop,” you are likely to be made to feel safe, at home and have incredible conversations about anything ranging from last nights football game to how best to handle a problem in your family.

It’s a staple in the Black community and something that can be unusual to those who have never visited one. HBO’s new show, “The Shop,” goes in depth of these conversations and has a certain level of comedy, heart felt moments and more.

So why did I write about it? About 7 years ago a friend of mine contacted me to discuss starting a YouTube show that was about the experience that happens in the black community inside of a barber shop. Guess what he wanted to call it? Yep, you guessed it…”The Shop.” We talked in depth about it and decided it would be super because there are so many who would watch from our community and then it would peek anyone else’s attention just because it’s not something that other communities are used to seeing or hearing.

That friend kept waiting to start his YouTube show and here we are 7 years later and the very idea he had has taken off with a celebrity who we all know and adore, Lebron James. AND to top it all off, HBO picked up the show and it’s sure to be one of the most watched shows this year.

I’m sharing this story to remind you, that when you are first given an idea you should jump on that moment and let it flourish. Imagine if my friend had started his show and Lebron saw it. Perhaps he would have reached out and asked to partner with him or to buy the rights to the show.

We all have ideas that flow through is throughout every day and some of them are good and some are bad. The thing is, when you don’t act on the good ones, you leave that door open to someone else to have the idea and turn it into the next big million dollar idea.

As Mel Robbins says, you’ve got 5 seconds to make a thought into an action. Don’t wait on it. Act on it.


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Filed under Marketing, syl wilson marketing

Just do it! Your marketing thing that is…

I watched a great video today..It was of several interviews with Will Smith. Funny how that man has grown from the skinny little rapper to this man who has enough insight to literally change the way we as marketers do business. What I mean by this is…well you’ve got to watch the video..but I will give a tad bit of it away before you watch it and simply say this. “Whatever you decide to be in life, be the best at it so that no one can ever do it better than you. Get all the training you can possibly get so that you can be the EXPERT in that field.”

And with that my marketing friends, be well, be the best, and enjoy a bit of Will’s inspirational thoughts!


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The nightmares that marketers face

I was chatting with a good friend of mine yesterday about how she always appreciates all of my marketing advice. She said I was one of the smartest people in the industry she knew. It was a nice compliment, however I told her sometimes I find myself  having a reoccurring nightmare about not being able to Continue reading


Filed under Direct Mail, Marketing

New ways to reach your customers with an old technique

Let me start this conversation like this…”Do you want your company to be all over the internet with bad press or good press?”  Testimonials are one of the most unique and fastest way to sell and brand your product.  They also happen to be an older method of marketing that is often forgotten. But ask yourself this one question, Continue reading


Filed under Internet Marketing, Marketing

Understanding the gaze of your customer

The design and graphics of your marketing material must support and strengthen the copy message.

  • Make it easy to scan
  • Have a focal point
  • Have an easy transfer of information (easy to read)
  • Communicate not decorate

What draws the eye, are warm colors and people. The best place to put your illustration is on the Continue reading


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Referral Systems as a Means for Marketing

Referral systems can be beneficial in some industries but not all.  The best way to find out if it works for our industry is to simply test it (I stress frequently testing programs rather than ruling them out).  The best way to test this is to ask for 1 to 2 names from your customers who have recently purchased your product (they will be the most happy) and leave it at that.

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A Social Media Year in Review

This is a great review of social media’s path in 2009 with a cartoon that Rob Cottingham, of the “Noise to Signal” created.

From Rob’s blog:

From the election of the first American social media president… to a nod to social media from the mainstreamiest of mainstream media (Oxford Dictionary, for god’s sake!)… it’s been a big, tumultuous sprawling toddler of a year, prone to tantrums and potty accidents but adorable nonetheless.

Here, then, is 2009 the way it was meant to be remembered… in doodles.


Filed under Internet Marketing, Marketing, Social Media

Has Generation Y Changed the Advertising Game?

I just read an excellent article in “Marketing Management” magazine about the new media multitasking frenzy.  What is media multitasking you ask? (I sure did). Well, it’s how they say the younger generation processes information.  You see, they are a generation (Generation Y) of consumers that is apparently more willing or likely to watch several different media’s at once. So the days of watching a television program and nothing else – that is foreign to them. Instead, they will watch t.v., talk on the phone, sit on their laptops with different social networks going as well as shopping experiences, reading blogs, surfing the net, etc. and they do this all at the SAME TIME!
So the question is, how do we as marketers reach this audience? The article I read took a study of Generation Y’rs, and found that in order to reach them we must follow these rules:

  1. Believe that this Generation Y really does process information differently than those of yesterday
  2. Find ways to bring this behavior as a positive not a negative. In their words “Leverage the behavior.”
  3. New multitasking media strategies will need to be made in order to address this behavior change. Find ways for your marketing communications to engage the consumer with your products online. Gen Y’rs need the back and forth communication. They don’t want to feel like its all one sided. They want to be able to give feedback and receive it instantly. This can be done with games, widgets, etc.

These new challenges are not so unusual to some of us in advertising who are used to social networking, but may come as a shock to others. Understanding the complexity of media multitasking is the first step. Then realizing that there are still many unturned stones in your marketing strategy that probably haven’t begun to touch all the new methods in cyber-space. Remember, as related to media multitasking the internet can give you limitless potential!


Filed under Internet Marketing, Marketing

The biggest marketing flop I have ever witnessed…they should’a used a PURL!

The other day at my job, every single one of the sales engineers, and everyone in management was shipped the most beautiful stainless steel mug.  When I say stainless steel, that doesn’t really do this mug justice.  I am not really describing it correctly.  I just don’t know what to call it! But trust me, these mugs are unbelievable! The company that sent them to us even personalized the mugs with each of our names. Everyone was shipped a mug in a separate box.  The box was made of the most unique wood.  It smelled good, it was heavy, I actually have it sitting on my shelf in my office because its so pretty!  Inside the box was the mug and a piece of paper that had the company name on it where the mug came from….

So…what did they do wrong? Well, first, they spelled the presidents name wrong. That’s a BIG mistake. Second, they shipped all of these mugs out in the regular postal mail.  So, how were they planning to know when we received them? I mean, what was their plan to follow up if we actually opened the box? A guesstimate? Third, there was NO contact information inside. No phone number, no website…We were absolutely amazed. Someone spent a lot of money on this nifty campaign, but let me tell ya, this doesn’t top it…The biggest whoops was that NO ONE EVER CALLED ANY OF US EVER!! Not that we’d have used their services, but I mean, wouldn’t you want to follow up? Also, they sent the mugs to some people that were probably or possibly not their targets. I was confused why so many people in our organization received them anyway.

If it were me who was sending these out, I would have sent them via FedEx so that I could track the packages and allow the sales people to immediately call and ask the customer if they could come out for a 10 minute meeting.  I would also use a PURL on the letter inside the box directing the recipient to a microsite to tell them who I was and what it was that I wanted to tell them about if I couldn’t do it in the letter (but you know me, I like to always use a PURL and microsite so we can offer more substance and a chance to capture more data from the customer!).

Something else to note, this company DID use personalization on the mugs which was clever! Making sure spelling is right is fairly important, I personally hate when someone spells my name with an “I” as in “Sylvia” and it’s my one personal pet peeve. I have learned that I need to just get over it and people make mistakes, but some people really get offended. Also, I just want to clarify, personalization DOES work. We all use our mugs daily. Honestly, if the company that sent these called to this day, I would talk to them and pick their brain on their method of their madness..because…surely there is some right?

So, if you ever want to send a nice expensive marketing campaign out..please make sure you at least have a way to track it and that you’ve got the president’s name spelled right! LOL!

P.S. I do still keep the box and the mug that has the presidents name misspelled in my office just so I can be reminded what NOT to do when thinking of new ideas.  I call it my “Idea Box.” Ha!


Filed under Internet Marketing, Marketing

Testimonials sell your brand better than any other marketing technique

Testimonials sell your brand better than anything else you probably have in your bag of tricks. In my findings when I use PURLS (personalized URLS) on my magazine ads, email campaigns, and direct mail pieces, and then link to a “microsite” if I put a Testimonial section on the Microsite that customers can click on and read actual stories about the product we are trying to sell, it is the highest clicked on section of the site.

So when thinking about developing your microsites, your direct mail pieces, or any media for that matter, always remember a key element we learned in basic marketing 101 which is that customers believe what others say about your own brand!

Life Experience
On a recent magazine ad I did, we actually put a photo of a customer who was able to get 85% ROI using our product and to hear the entire story, you had to visit the “microsite.” Once at the microsite, customers were able to read the full testimonial and see a video of the customer talking about his experience with the product at his place of business in action! The impact was great and the PURL (personalized URL) allowed for the entire campaign to be tracked instantly. The campaign had one of the highest response rates I have seen so far.

How do you obtain these testimonials?
What one client I work with does, is every time they sell one of their items (they sell $100K capital equipment) they immediately ask for a survey to be filled out and at the same time ask if the customer is willing to answer 12 questions about their buying experience.  They then ask if it’s okay if they turn that questionnaire into a testimonial using their name and company name. In most cases the customer says yes, especially if you tell them “And we’ll put a link back to your website from this of course.” That is marketing for them and you! Also, tell them you’ll add their phone number and contact info in case anyone wants to call them as a way to entice them. They just may get a referral from your testimonial! Now that’s smart marketing!

Social Media concerning Testimonials
If you’re concerned about the usage of a testimonial in social media, Andy Sernovitz has it all broken down on his blog. It’s not complicated at all! So, get moving with your testimonials!

Hope this helps you to keep the clients rolling in and to remember, getting back to the basics can be fun!

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Filed under Marketing, PURL, Uncategorized